It isn’t exactly breaking news that energy costs can rise when the temperature drops.   However, you might be surprised at some of the things that can make a difference – a difference in terms of how much money you spend – when it comes to heating your home during the chilly winter months. Here are some of the most energy-intensive HVAC habits to avoid during the winter:

Don’t Heat the Empty House

Turn the heat down when no one is home and when you go to bed. You may want to invest in a programmable thermostat so you’re not forgetting to adjust the temperature. Your empty house will be nice and toasty warm as your bill is climbing.

Programmable thermostats are easy to use. Set the thermostat to turn on about half an hour before you get up in the morning or before you’re due to arrive at home.

Don’t Forget HVAC Maintenance 

You could save or spend hundreds of dollars. By not skipping the maintenance, your HVAC system will run more efficiently, saving you money and keeping your home warm. A yearly tune-up each fall season is the best way to make sure everything is in working order and running smoothly.

Air Flow/Ventilation

Ventilation leaks around windows and doors allow in cool air from the outside. As a result, your HVAC system is forced to work harder to keep the house comfortable, resulting in higher energy bills for you to pay. Make certain that your home is well-insulated and if it isn’t invest in insulating or upgrading the current installation.

Skip the Space Heaters

Think about how much money you’re spending on electricity each time you use one of those per-kilowatt-hour heaters in your house because it never seems to get warm enough there! For those who use several heaters per day, this means that you’re likely spending several dollars per heater per day on your electricity bill.

Light Bulbs

Despite the fact that incandescent bulbs consume approximately 75 percent more energy than LED bulbs, now is a good time to make the switch to LED bulbs in order to save money on energy bills during the winter months.

Ceiling Fan 

Pulling warm air upwards in the warmer months is great, but if you don’t change the rotation of your ceiling fan blades in the winter, it won’t be able to push all of that nice warm heat that has risen to the ceiling back down to you.

Lockout the Drafts

If you have drafty windows or a draft door, get creative and find a way to keep the cold air outside where it belongs. If you cannot afford to replace your windows, try a pair of thick curtains that can be closed at night and opened in the winter to the sunshine and warm up your home naturally. Purchase or make a door draft if all else fails, use a thick towel and roll it up and place it in front of the door.

Keep Unused Rooms Closed

If you’re not in the bedroom or bathroom, keep the doors closed. This will allow your heat to stay in the rooms you are occupying. The same is true for nighttime when you go to bed. Keeping the bedroom door closed if you have a thermostat in your room, adjust it to the temperature you want for a nice cozy winter night’s snooze.

Add Layers of Clothes

Instead of walking around in a short-sleeve shirt and shorts, dig out the winter clothes, sweatpants, sweatshirt, etc., and put them on in layers. This will keep you warmer, and if you get too warm you can take off the sweatshirt and just wear a long sleeve shirt. If you have a nice fluffy warm blanket, use it to cover up with while watching TV.

Air Leaks

When looking for air leaks, make sure to thoroughly inspect your attic and basement, as these are the areas where the worst leaks can be found. Patch up any small cracks with foam or caulk. The installation or replacement of insulation may be required for larger openings.

Don’t leave doors or windows open. All of your heat will escape from your home. It can be difficult when you have children. They don’t understand why it is so important to close the doors and windows, so you may need to go behind them and make sure they are all closed.

Keeping your house warm and your electricity bill down can be accomplished by following a few simple guidelines.

If you need additional help or guidance, call Comfort Systems today. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable and waiting to hear from you.